Real estate woes of the 'Real Housewives'

Mood of the Market

Real estate, like reality television, has a highly voyeuristic aspect to it. While some portion of us are concerned with keeping up with the Joneses, a vastly greater number just crave to know whether the Joneses have granite counters, or whether Mr. Jones is (as rumor suggests) a hoarder.

This voyeurism contains elements of schadenfreude, that snarky satisfaction of knowing that your fellow citizen is worse off than you believed — ideally, at least as bad off as you.

This is the open house-snooping, medicine cabinet-exploration-induced comfort we often take when we stop comparing the interiors of our own lives (and homes) with the dressed-up exteriors of our friends — the realization that they live like we do.